Div. 4 hoop tourney expands to Central, West

FRANKLIN, Mass. -- MIAA Tournament Management gave a thumbs up to the extension of Division 4 basketball to Western and Central Massachusetts this morning with a 13-0-1 vote in favor. The expansion, which begins in the 2013-2014 season, will put the two areas on par with the Northern and Southern regions which already have a fourth division.

“The whole bottom line for our community is trying to do what is right for kids,” said Mike Lahiff, a Watertown athletic director and Basketball Committee chair. “There are financial issues and there are all kinds of parameters they have to face as a committee. We hope next to get our final alignment of schools up and posted so people can see them.”

The Basketball Committee reviewed team placement based off population, competitiveness, and location with a possibility of teams statewide shifting either division or region. The alignments will be released late in the Summer, with appeals by principals and the sports committee heard in December.

The change will take place during the 2013-2014 season with final alignments posted the spring before.

“I understand the frustration of people when they are going up against much bigger schools, ,” Lahiff said. “If people are not have a lot of success at all eventually their program will whither away. We try to take in all kinds of factors. “